To bread or not to braid, that's the question

July 16, 2016


Last weekend we visited a bakery in Alfacar, a small town close to the city of Granada. Alfacar is widely regarded as having the best bread in the whole province, so we decided to go there to learn the secrets of its popular flavor.

After showing us the place, Manuel, and José, the owners of the bakery, revealed all the ingredients we need to use and the steps we must follow in order to make savory bread. But what the students loved the most about this visit was what came next… For half an hour they became bakers!! Following the instructions given by the professionals there, the students cooked their own bread. Kneading the soft and white dough was like playing with modelling clay; you could tell by the students’ look that they really enjoyed it.

In bakery, as in art, there is not just one way to make things. There is Velazquez and there is Picasso, and no one is better than the other: they are just different. In the same way, some students- our Velazquezes of bread - chose traditional shapes for their “works of bread”; and some others, with a Picassian soul, preferred to be more adventurous with their experiments. In both cases the result was the same: fragrant and delicious bread.

When each student had made two baguettes, the bakers put them in a huge oven with firewood. Through the oven windows, students could see how their breads gradually acquired a golden color, while a penetrating fragrance filled the room. About fifteen minutes after that - a long time for many of the stomachs there -, the students received their warm and crunchy pieces of art. Yummmmmy!!!

With our breads in our bags and a smile in our face, we headed towards some beautiful mountains not very far from there: the Sierra de la Alfaguara. Our destination: the old trenches from the Spanish Civil War times. To get there we hiked along a green hillside, among the scent from tall pines and aromatic plants. It was a perfect occasion to fill our lungs with the fresh air of the Mediterranean forest.

Although the time has passed since they were created, the trenches are preserved in  perfect conditions. Located in a hilltop, the views from there were simply amazing. The students used their time to explore the place and take pictures of themselves with the views.

Before three o’clock the students were back to the school to eat their lunch. They had spent a great time among bread and trenches. Ahead of them was an afternoon full of other exciting activities.